Welcome!

News Feed Item

Nearly Two-Thirds of States Lack Rescue Drug and Good Samaritan Overdose Laws

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recent analysis, released by Trust for America's Health (TFAH) in October, of state drug laws and policies found a majority of states do not have laws that can provide help to individuals during an overdose.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100204/TFAHLOGO)

  • Good Samaritan Laws: Only 17 states and Washington, D.C. have laws in place to provide a degree of immunity from criminal charges or mitigation of sentencing for individuals seeking to help themselves or others experiencing an overdose.  The states include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington state.  According to experts, many overdose deaths can be prevented with quick and appropriate medical treatment, but fear of arrest and prosecution may prevent people who overdose, witness an overdose or are with someone who has overdosed from calling 911.  The level of immunity covered by the Good Samaritan laws vary from state to state.   
       
  • Rescue Drug Laws:  Only 17 states and Washington, D.C. have laws in place to expand access to, and use of naloxone – a prescription drug that can be effective in counteracting an overdose – by lay administrators.  The states include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 188 community-based overdose prevention programs now distribute naloxone, which has led to more than 10,000 overdose reversals.  Naloxone counteracts life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system, allowing an overdose victim to breathe normally and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"Philip Seymour Hoffman's death is a tragic reminder of the drug problem in America.  There are too many sad stories of tragedies that could have been averted," said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of Trust for America's Health (TFAH).  "We need to start by getting past the outdated sense of stigma associated with addiction and focus our energies on effective prevention strategies and modernizing how we think about and deliver treatment." 

"In the past decade, we've witnessed more than a 100 percent increase in drug overdose deaths in the United States. We've seen an astronomical rise in sales and deaths from prescription painkillers – both have quadrupled – since 1991.  Many doctors and patients responsibly use these drugs to help people suffering from pain.  However, at the same time, there has been a striking increase in the misuse and abuse of these medications.  And, many in the public health field report that it is also serving as a gateway to a rise in heroin use – since heroin is often cheaper and easier to get," Levi continued.

Many public health officials have raised concerns that some prescription drug users are transitioning to heroin use. An analysis by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at the  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) pooled data from 2002 through 2011 from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and found that among 12- to 49-year-olds recent (within the last 12 months) heroin use was 19 times higher among those who had previously used nonmedical painkillers compared to those who had not.  Almost 80 percent of new heroin users had previously used prescription painkillers, while only 1 percent of new prescription painkiller users previously used heroin. 

Drug overdose deaths now exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in 29 states, according to an October 2013 report, Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic, released by TFAH.   Drug overdose deaths have doubled in 29 states since 1999.  The rates quadrupled in four of these states and tripled in 10 more of these states. 

The report also found that 28 states and Washington, D.C. scored six or less out of 10 possible indicators of promising strategies to help curb prescription drug abuse.  Two states, New Mexico and Vermont, got the highest score, receiving all 10 possible indicators, while South Dakota scored the lowest with two out of 10.

Some key recommendations from the report include:

  • Make rescue medications more widely available by increasing access for at-risk individuals to naloxone and provide immunity for individuals and others seeking help;
  • Expand access to and availability of effective treatment options as a key component of any strategy to combat prescription and non-prescription drug abuse;
  • Educate and work with the public and prescribers to avoid misuse and ensure responsible prescribing practices for opioids; and
  • Increase understanding about safe storage of medication and proper disposal of unused medications, such as through "take back" programs.

STATE-BY-STATE DRUG OVERDOSE MORTALITY RANKINGS

Note: Rates include total drug overdose mortality rates, the majority of which are from prescription drugs. 1 = Highest rate of drug overdose fatalities, 51 = lowest rate of drug overdose fatalities. Rankings are based on data from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, WONDER Online Database, 2010.   The numbers are based on the number of people per 100,000.

1. West Virginia**** (28.9); 2. New Mexico (23.8); 3. Kentucky**** (23.6); 4. Nevada (20.7); 5. Oklahoma*** (19.4); 6. Arizona (17.5); 7. Missouri*** (17); 8. (tie) Tennessee** and Utah (16.9); 10. Delaware** (16.6); 11. Florida** (16.4); 12. Ohio*** (16.1); 13. Rhode Island** (15.5); 14. Pennsylvania (15.3); 15. Wyoming*** (15); 16. South Carolina*** (14.6); 17. Indiana**** (14.4); 18. Michigan*** (13.9); 19. Louisiana*** (13.2); 20. Washington (13.1); 21. (tie) District of Columbia and Montana** and Oregon** (12.9); 24. Colorado (12.7); 25. Arkansas** (12.5); 26. (tie) Alabama*** and Idaho** and New Hampshire** (11.8); 29. Alaska (11.6); 30. (tie) Mississippi***and North Carolina** (11.4); 32. (tie) Maryland and Massachusetts (11); 34. (tie) Hawaii and Wisconsin** (10.9); 36. Georgia*** (10.7); 37. California (10.6); 38. Maine (10.4); 39. Connecticut (10.1); 40. Illinois (10); 41. New Jersey (9.8); 42. Vermont** (9.7); 43. (tie) Kansas** and Texas (9.6); 45. Iowa**** (8.6); 46. New York (7.8); 47. Minnesota** (7.3); 48. Virginia (6.8); 49. Nebraska** (6.7); 50. South Dakota (6.3); 51. North Dakota (3.4).

** Drug Overdose Mortality Rates doubled from 1999 to 2010

*** Drug Overdose Mortality Rates tripled from 1999 to 2010

**** Drug Overdose Mortality Rates quadrupled from 1999 to 2010

Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. For more information, visit www.healthyamericans.org.

SOURCE Trust for America's Health

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
"We're developing a software that is based on the cloud environment and we are providing those services to corporations and the general public," explained Seungmin Kim, CEO/CTO of SM Systems Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Data scientists must access high-performance computing resources across a wide-area network. To achieve cloud-based HPC visualization, researchers must transfer datasets and visualization results efficiently. HPC clusters now compute GPU-accelerated visualization in the cloud cluster. To efficiently display results remotely, a high-performance, low-latency protocol transfers the display from the cluster to a remote desktop. Further, tools to easily mount remote datasets and efficiently transfer...
"Codigm is based on the cloud and we are here to explore marketing opportunities in America. Our mission is to make an ecosystem of the SW environment that anyone can understand, learn, teach, and develop the SW on the cloud," explained Sung Tae Ryu, CEO of Codigm, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"CA has been doing a lot of things in the area of DevOps. Now we have a complete set of tool sets in order to enable customers to go all the way from planning to development to testing down to release into the operations," explained Aruna Ravichandran, Vice President of Global Marketing and Strategy at CA Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
"We're focused on how to get some of the attributes that you would expect from an Amazon, Azure, Google, and doing that on-prem. We believe today that you can actually get those types of things done with certain architectures available in the market today," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"NetApp is known as a data management leader but we do a lot more than just data management on-prem with the data centers of our customers. We're also big in the hybrid cloud," explained Wes Talbert, Principal Architect at NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.